'The Social Symbolism of Grief and Mourning is a complex study of death from the perspectives of drama, psychology, anthropology, and working pastoral practice. Roger Grainger ties his study to ancient and current funeral practices, and examines the beliefs about death implicit in our social behaviour; but more importantly, he had understood and can communicate, the absurd quality of death and its religious nature. By its very nature, death is paradoxical: it cannot be contained by words or rites, but that is just what we seek to do, must do, to make sense of it. In doing this, we make sense of life.'
- Church Times
In The Social Symbolism of Grief and Mourning Roger Grainger focuses on the role of funerals in promoting the personal and social adjustment of the bereaved. The work explores the significance of many of the areas and stages connected with death, with chapters covering such topics as:
* attitudes towards death
* our fear of death and dying
* ways in which we attempt to come to terms with death
* the rituals that surround these processes.
By tying together folklore and traditional beliefs with actual funeral practices, both ancient and modern, the author has created a work that examines the anthropological, psychological and superstitious aspects of our relationship to death and dying.
1. The Refusal to Die. 2. The Fear of the Dead. 3. The Unbuiried. 4. The Shape of Death. 5. The Rite of Passage. Appendix: The Principle Motives of the Funeral. Bibliography